Americans Flee the Urban Centers Following Coronavirus and BLM Protests and Riots

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The CEO of Realogy Holdings which owns Century 21, Caldwell Banker and Sotheby’s International admitted this week that their companies are already seeing homebuyers flee the dense urban centers for the suburbs.

Ryan Schneider, the CEO of Realogy Holdings says the migration is due to the coronavirus. But certainly the far left mayors in America’s most populous cities and the Black Lives Matter protests and riots are contributing to the exodus.

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The movement to the suburbs by Gen Y was already underway last fall.

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As New York City goes, so goes urban centers across the U.S., according to Ryan Schneider, chief executive of Realogy Holdings.

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed city dwellers and potential homebuyers to flee dense areas like New York and parts of California for suburban locations as Americans spend more time at home than before.

While the rotation from urban to suburban life is underway in certain parts of the country, interest is growing elsewhere, said Schneider, whose real estate company owns Century 21, Coldwell Banker and Sotheby’s International Realty, among other brands.

“In every urban geography, the web traffic of people and what they’re searching for has changed, versus six to 12 months ago, to be much more suburban,” he said Thursday on CNBC’s “The Exchange.” “Even in the urban geographies where that rotation has not happened in the actual housing purchase and sales yet, the consumer searching is going in that direction and we continued to see that through the whole Covid crisis in the last three months.”

Schneider believes New York, the initial epicenter of the U.S. Covid-19 outbreak, can serve as a bellwether for the rest of the country. Millennials, now the largest cohort of homebuyers in the country, have been a key part of the newfound urban exodus in the state.

As the coronavirus lockdown kept workers and families sheltered in their homes for months, interest in home improvement projects picked up and homebuying searches in suburban ZIP codes rose double digits — double the pace of that in city areas — as early as May when the housing market began to pick back up.


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